Is it really necessary for a podcaster to have a mailing list?
The "quick answer" is NO.
But (there is always a "but," right?), if you want to communicate with your listeners in anyway, then YES, you should have a mailing list.
The question then becomes, "How do I get a mailings list from my podcast listeners?"
Believe it or not, almost all podcasters have some sort of mailing list. It really is the one thing that almost every podcast can actually start by themselves with very little effort.
Having a mailing list is important, especially if you are using your podcast to generate traffic for a business you own (either online or traditional). You can drive traffic from your podcast website, through your podcast episodes, through your YouTube Channel, through a Facebook page for your podcast or any of the other social media platforms you have.
By offering a free checklist or other resource that is relevant to your listeners. Something that will actually benefit them. Actual training or something that you would normally charge for. Something that has a perceived value for the listeners.
This will give you an opportunity to sow something into their life and make that portion of their life better, all in exchange for their name and email address. You can ask for their email address because you will need to "send" the resource to them. It is a natural for them to agree if they perceive the value of the resource you are offering.
It is then an opportunity for you to nourish the relationship over time. Keep in touch with the people on your email list. Do not only communicate with them when you have something to sell them. Do not only communicate with them when you have a sale or some other event going on.
Send them, at a minimum, of a weekly email providing another aspect of training that you would normally charge for. If you have a traditional business that goes along with your podcast (for example, an auto repair shop), you should provide information that will assist them in self-diagnosing various problems on their car. Then, at the end of the email, a simple statement of "If you continue to have problems, bring a copy of this email into the shop and we will give you 50% off the diagnostic evaluation charge to see exactly what is going on."
You've been giving them great advice. Now, they have a problem and they are unable to diagnose it. You are offering them a chance to save some money just to find out what is wrong. So they come into your shop. Honor the commitment.
When you tell them what is wrong with the vehicle, what will their next question be?
"How much will it cost to fix it?" Now - you have a new customer!
I used auto repair, but you can use just about anything like that, even if you have an online business. Just offer, at least on a weekly basis (I actually recommend at least 3 times per week) something of perceived value. Even one section out of a training manual you created.
There are many different email auto-responders available. You can use Mailerlite, MailChimp or others. I have used Aweber for several years now. Just find one that works for you. Some are more complex than others, but offer more versatility. Some are a lot simpler to use but offer limited features.
The important thing is, START NOW!
Start collecting those email addresses by sowing something of value into the life of your listeners. You will be glad you did the first time you actually receive a sale from one of your listeners. That is when you realize "this stuff does work!"
It will then take you even further down the road of sowing into their life and offering your products as a solution to their problems.
They are happy and your are happy!
All from podcasting!
Robert Thibodeau has been in online media since 2010. Between his online radio programs and his podcasts, he has accumulated about 4,000 episodes and conducted 600+ interviews in that time. He has helped many people to launch their own podcasts (many of which have earned numerous podcasting awards). He has a complete podcast training program, taking you from "Concept to Launch and Into Monetization." You can read more information on his training program at http://www.podcast-training.com You can also download his "Podcast Creation Checklist" for FREE under the "Services" tab on his website. He has also created a Christian podcast hosting and marketing platform at https://www.faithcasters.net
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